Kraut wrote: (...)
https://www.academia.edu/36689289/Invas ... der_Steppe
https://indo-european.eu/2018/05/copenh ... -caucasus/ (...)
Linguists, geneticists and archaeologists have reconstructed how a people of simple shepherds changed the world - a dramatic tale from the Bronze Age about migrations, wars of conquest, epidemics and the emergence of primitive Europeans.
Interesting stuff - and actually smack in the middle of the theme I'm going to talk about in Bratislava, namely migration patterns and languages in prehistoric Europe. I would have commented in Kraut's thread, but since the theme is so relevant for my own log -(and the comment grew to monstrous proportions) I have placed it here instead and just commented briefly in the thread "Invasion from the steppe (Indo-European expansion)".
Developments in this field go fast, and a couple of new things since my speech last year about the history (and prehistory) of the Germanic languages is that the proto-Indoeuropean speakers in Asia Minor (including the forebears of the Hittites) apparently weren't closely generically related to those on the steppes. One point in Kraut's German article is that the Kurgan cultures (including the late Yamnay) may have learnt about horses from another people, the extinct Botai from Kazakhstan, but according to the genetic evidence the Botai didn't intermarry with the Kurgans so it must be a case of learning by looking. Actually the horses of the Botai are now said to be the ancestors of the Przwalski horses, which everyone so far have considered to be the last truly wild horses. This would then mean that there aren't any truly wild horses alive today, but at least the Przewalskis only did a short stint as domesticated animals since the Botai must have had access to truly wild horses, so the Przwalskis are still the closest thing to the wild ones. But this leaves one lingering question: if the horses of everyone except the Botai aren't based on the same extinct wild horses as those domesticated by the Botai, what then? The tarpan?
But since the Botai didn't mingle with the Kurgans there is no compelling reason to believe that they played a role in the formation of the ProtoIndoeuropean language(s). As for the history of proto-Germanic I was already last year bothered by two things: 1) there is a time lapse of almost 1000 years between the end of the Megalithic stone age in Denmark and the beginning of the Bronze age - did the Yamnaya invasion or whatever it was happen gradually during this time or right at the beginning?, and 2) that people in Southern and Western Europe don't represent the same haplogroup as the one which apparently is connected with the Yamnaic speakers of what later became Proto-Germanic - so there must have been several invasions and several ways to transfer Proto-European skills to people in Europe. With the Pre-Germanic people the history seems to be that the Yamnaya invaded Eastern Europe, which gave rise to the establishment of the socalled Battle Ax culture (also characterized by single graves and band ceramics), and a later influx of new technology later added the chariot and bronze to the mixture. It is hard to see where the Indoeuropean languages should have come from if not through this invasion, but it is theoretically possible that these languages came to Northern Europe with the introduction of the chariot and bronze instead. And then the Yamnaya may have spoken some kind of ProtoIndoeuropean, but the representatives of the battle ax culture could in principle have spoken something else.
As for the rest of Europe .. well, I'm still reading, but it is by no means certain that the Yamnaya were in any way responsible for the formation of the Proto-Celtic/Italic language(s) - other tribes from the steppes who spoke related languages could have brought them to Central Europe, and then they could possible have spread through mixed cultures with other genes. As for the Balkan Peninsula it's almost certain that the ancestors of the Albanians (possible the Illyrians) didn't belong to the same wave as the ancestors of the Greeks. One reason is that Albanian represents a somewhat atypical kind of 'satemisation' - but still something different from the centum-ism of ProtoGermanic and ProtoItalic/Celtic - while Greek is a Centum language.
Explanation: the division of Indoeuropean languages into Centum and Satem languages (named after the Latin and Sanskrit words for 100) is still somewhat controversial, but basically the point is that the offspring of the postulated common Proto-Indoeuropean language did different things to the originally three (or maybe only two) series of dorsal consonants. The Indo-Iranian languages, Armenian and Albanian (with some reservations) and the Baltic/Slavic languages are Satem languages, whereas Italic, Celtic, Germanic, Greek and the (sadly) extinct Tocharian A & B from Central Asia are Centum languages. The theory now is that the 'satemization' process took place after some groups had left the central territory somewhere on the steppes North of the Black Sea - and if so, then we would definitely have evidence of a multistep process rather than a single Kurgan explosion which in one fell swoop would have introduced a single ProtoIndoeuropean language to almost the whole of Europe and much of Asia.